Action Mesothelioma Day took place on 7 July 2017, an annual event to raise awareness of and commemorate those who have been affected by this asbestos-related illness. Since the early 1990s, mesothelioma incidence rates have increased by almost 71% in the UK. This type of lung cancer is usually caused by exposure to asbestos and is just one of several diseases that can affect those who have had contact with asbestos in the past. With around 5,000 deaths a year in the UK due to asbestos-related illnesses, we believe it is important to raise awareness of the support that is available to victims and their families after diagnosis. We have compiled some of the UK’s top online news coverage of asbestos-related issues from July 2017.

It has been reported that illegal cigarettes may contain asbestos, as well as rat and human faecal matter. These toxic substances were found during a study conducted by Japan Tobacco International (JTI) into fakes of well-known brands of cigarettes. A police raid unearthed around 3,000 fake cigarettes in Barking and Dagenham in East London, all of which were packaged illegally with motifs of brands such as Kent, Marlborough and Golden Virginia.

A woman from Derbyshire died from mesothelioma thought to be caused by hugging her pipe fitter father whilst he was still wearing his working overalls that were covered in deadly asbestos dust. Wife, mum of three and grandmother, Susan MacGregor was diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer in September 2015. She had six courses of chemotherapy and a procedure to remove part of the affected area, but unfortunately she died 14 months after diagnosis at the age of 58. The coroner stated that the most likely source of her contact with asbestos was probably via her father’s overalls.

Families of those affected by asbestos exposure in Barrow-in-Furness have been paying tribute to the men and women who have suffered and are still suffering from asbestos-related diseases after working in the town’s famous shipyard. Families reminisced how victims used to have “snowball fights” with the deadly material and then eat their sandwiches. One woman told the North West Mail: “I have bilateral pleural plaques and it was from my father’s overalls. He was a sheet metal worker in the yard and had pleural plaques but died from an embolism and my mum died from mesothelioma ovarian cancer… I have never worked in the industry, but have inherited the threat of mesothelioma.”

An 80-year-old former shipwright died from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while he worked at the Portsmouth Dockyard. David Brown from Swanmore, Hampshire, served his apprenticeship at the dockyard, where he would help to remove lagging as part of refits and refurbishment of ships, between 1953 and 1958. The Senior Coroner at Winchester Coroner’s Court said: “I find that the medical cause of death is malignant mesothelioma; it is apparent that … when he worked as a shipwright at Portsmouth Dockyard, he was exposed to asbestos dust.”

If you, or a family member, have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, including mesothelioma, and are looking for advice on the support available or are considering trying to make a compensation claim, Dedicated Accident Solicitors will listen to your story and their highly experienced asbestos solicitors will be able to discuss your options.